In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan has an interesting conversation with John Saunders, founder of Forward Advisory Solutions, about creating trust in the workplace. John notes that trust is required to help co-workers and employees unleash their talents and enable change and innovation.

At the beginning of the interview John spoke briefly about his new book, The Optimizer: Building and Leading a Team of Serial Innovators, and noted that what stops people from unleashing their gifts is fear – emotional fear – and the need to create a trusting environment to enable people to unleash those gifts and deliver results.

Evan asked John, how do you create that trust that’s required for change?

John started with an interesting story that people tend to think the bias toward change is a recent phenomenon. In writing his book, he dug very deep to find a case in 1636 where a gentleman by the name of Henry Burton was jailed for being deemed an innovator by the King of England. John said, “this happened 400 years ago. A guy was jailed for creating change!”

He went on to explain that, “when you think about building trust there’s a number of levels to it. And certainly, first is creating a personal connection with your team members. The thing I can’t stress here enough is this is not a one-time event, right. People send a note to their team member, a note saying, ‘hey, I hope you had a great weekend…or wasn’t that a fun event.’ That’s one touch, right? You build from there. It has to become part of your process.”

John continued, “It’s getting their feedback. How many times in your career has someone come to you and said, ‘hey Evan you work for me, or you’ve been on my team for a number of years, what’s it like working for me? How can I improve this circumstance?’ More than 10? More than 1? It’s not a common occurrence.

John has a very powerful story that he shares in his interview to illustrate this point. Make sure you listen to the interview to hear it and remember to listen until the end to hear John’s BIG idea!

John’s Giveaway

John is offering a 30-minute free consultation to see if it makes sense for you to work together. Go to and click on the green “30 Minute Consult” button in the top right corner.

About Our Guest

John Saunders spent many years as a Wall Street Senior Vice President, sales team leader, and award-winning sales executive. He followed his passion for helping others grow and founded a coaching and consulting company, Forward Advisory Solutions. He holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Georgetown University. Additionally, Saunders is a member of Georgetown McDonough’s MBA Alumni Advisory Council, an active angel investor and is a formal Executive MBA mentor.

As a lifelong learner, Saunders asserts that change is necessary in today’s business world and believes in empowering those he works with. In addition to writing, mentoring, and coaching, Saunders enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.